I first heard of Nesselrode Pie on an episode of The Andy Griffith Show called 'Aunt Bee and The Lecturer'. It's a color episode and I generally steer clear of those. If you do as well, here is the pie-only-involvement-run-down: Aunt Bee has got a gentleman suitor on the line who just loves the Nesselrode Pie she made for their dinner....but it's because the pie and Aunt Bee remind him of his deceased wife. Needless to say, Aunt Bee packs up the pie in a paper sack and scoots him on his way. Actually I don't remember how she gets rid of the guy but we aren't here to talk about that.
We are here for the pie!
I liked the pie's intriguing name and it seemingly had some super powers of persuasion (due to the alcohol content) so I decided to make it for Christmas this year.
I have several Mayberry Cook Books with a few different variations of the pie. I also looked up some recipes in several of my old cookbooks. Some had a chocolate layer, some called for a hard to locate jarred fruit called Nesselro, some called for dark rum and some included instant vanilla pudding. To add to the mystique of the pie, it is classified as extinct due to no restaurants or bakeries serving it any longer.
I decided to still venture forward and rise the Nesselrode Pie from the culinary graveyard. I went with the basic recipe called 'Clara's (Not Bee's) Nesselrode Pie' from the Aunt Bee's Mayberry Cookbook with a few variations I liked from other recipes.
1 baked 9 inch pie shell
1 tsp. plain unflavored gelatin (which is 1 pkg of Knox gelatin)
1/4 c. cold water
1/4 c. cold water
2 c. heavy cream
2 eggs, separated
1/4 c. sugar
6 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. rum (I used 1/4 tsp. rum flavoring)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Whipped cream (I used cool whip)
8 oz. Candied Cherries
Chocolate shavings (I grated a dark chocolate bar with almonds for this)
Bake pie shell (I went with a pie mix from Jiffy )
Soak gelatin in cold water for 5 minutes.
Separate the eggs. Beat the yolks, add the heavy cream and 1/4 cup sugar.
Pour into a small saucepan and heat slowly until mixture is smooth and slightly thicken.
Remove from heat; add gelatin and stir until dissolved. Pour into a bowl and chill until it begins to thicken (but not totally set)
Meanwhile, beat egg whites with the cream of tartar to form stiff peaks then gradually add remaining 6 tablespoons sugar and continue beating.
Fold into chilled custard mixture, add the rum (flavoring), and chopped up candied cherries reserving several for the topping.
Pour into baked pie shell; chill until set.
Just before serving, top with whipped cream. Then shave chocolate over the top and decorate with candied cherries.
The other twist to this Aunt Bee and The Lecturer episode, is that her man-bait pie was actually Clara's recipe!
In the real world, the fam really liked the pie...but that could have been the rum extract talking.